Dr. Martens Vegan boots are under a voluntary recall for possible chemical exposure. The boots’ tongue lining may cause exposure to benzidine, a cancer causing substance that has not been sold in the U.S. since the 1970s, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
The unisex 1460 boots in cherry red, made in Vietnam and imported by Airwair of Portland, Oregon, are the “original Dr. Martens boot,” according to the iconic company’s website. “Its boot’s recognizable DNA looks like this: 8 eyes, classic Dr. Martens Smooth leather, grooved sides, a heel-loop, yellow stitching, and a comfortable, air-cushioned sole.”
According to a recall alert by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), “Prolonged and direct contact with the boot tongue lining can expose the wearer to the chemical benzidine.”
Product code 14585 is printed on the tongue label with the batch code starting with “GV” and ending in Q,R or S. An estimated 30,000 pairs of the boots are affected by the recall and were sold at Dr. Martens, Journeys and independent stores nationwide and online at Amazon.com, DrMartens.com, Shoebuy.com and other websites from January 2015 through July 2017 for about $125.
Benzidine is a manufactured chemical that does not occur naturally and was once used to produce dyes for cloth, paper and leather — and in laboratories for detecting the presence of blood.
“Inhalation and accidental ingestion are the main ways people can be exposed to benzidine-based dyes in the United States,” the NCI website states. “As benzidine-based dyes were removed from both industrial and consumer markets and replaced with other types of dyes, the potential for exposure has declined.”
Those with boots affected by the recall should stop using them and contact Dr. Martens for a full refund or replacement at 800-460-3930 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or online at www.drmartens.com and click on “Product Recall” for more information.